Most generally, this means to "increase the effect of", or "increase the effectiveness of".
In biological neural networks, this refers to a synapse
becoming more effective in its ability to excite
, or inhibit
the firing of its neuron
in response to an incoming signal (in biological terms, a signal is called an action potential
This is sometimes used as a close synonym in Netlab. It can refer to increasing the strength of a connection weight
by making it more positive (if it is an excitatory synapse
), or more negative (if it is an inhibitory synapse
). That is, increasing the absolute value of a connection weight
in Netlab (whether it is negative or positive), is analogous to potentiation in biology.